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Soilwork
The Living Infinite

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2013
Genre: Melodic death
Reviewer: EC

  • A monumental effort



  • In the mid to late 90s, I thought a handful of bands including Soilwork were framing the next millennium of metal. Swedish notables like In Flames and Gardenian were years ahead of anyone else, designing and pioneering the "metalcore" sound a full decade before it gained prominence. Clean vocals, punishing grooves and breakneck speeds all wrapped neatly around catchy hooks and melodic passages were the order of the day post "Slaughter Of The Soul". Soilwork advanced the genre with the groundbreaking "Predator's Potrait" in 2001 and have continued pushing the boundaries on six records thereafter.

    New opus "The Living Infinite" is a monumental effort that spans two discs or one really large download. Twenty tracks make up this colossal recording and the album is produced by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Bloodbath) for Nuclear Blast. Tracks like "Memories Confined" and "Antidotes In Passing" will see a drastic change in texture, a melodic and introverted formula that shelters the aggressive sound by showcasing more clean vocals over soft keys and riffs. Opener "Spectrum Of Eternity" displays some of the fastest riffs, blast beats and double bass on a Soilwork record to date, a strong statement considering the speed of early works like "Chainheart Machine" and "Steelbath Suicide". These Swedes rival and maybe surpass genre mates In Flames with the sense of melody injected in Speed's vocal delivery. "This Momentary Bliss" and "Drowning With Silence" are saturated in twin guitar melody that touches the softest and still most aggressive chords within a few seconds of each other. No one is doing this as well as Soilwork right now and through twenty tracks of a very long album these veterans hammer that point.

    Where "Sworn To A Great Divide" and "The Panic Broadcast" were subpar efforts, "The Living Infinite" more than makes up for it, washing away those albums with solid songwriting, an uncanny ear for melody and the diversity to write brutal exhibits of power yet still so persuasive with focused accessibility and commercial logic. Soilwork have made the strongest statement of 2013 by advancing the genre and doing their damnedest to re-invent the wheel.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SOILWORK
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Live In The Heart of HelsinkiSoilwork
    2015
    Greg Watson5/8/2015
    Stabbing The DramaSoilwork
    2005
    Ken Pierce8/10/2005
    Stabbing The DramaSoilwork
    2005
    Troy Cole3/17/2005
    Sworn to a Great DivideSoilwork
    2007
    Sinnercorp6/25/2008
    The Living InfiniteSoilwork
    2013
    Eric Compton3/24/2013
    The Panic BroadcastSoilwork
    2010
    Greg Watson8/9/2010
    The Ride MajesticSoilwork
    2015
    Greg Watson10/9/2015


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SOILWORK
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Beyond The InfiniteSoilwork
    2014
    Greg Watson11/10/2014


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SOILWORK
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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